The International Monetary Fund on Monday approved an USD 18.4 million emergency loan to Mali. The IMF executive board approved the loan in an effort to help the government in Mali with its budget as it tries to roll back an Islamist insurgency with French help. Other donors include the World Bank, the European Union, the African Development Bank and individual countries. The IMF board said the Malian government's economic program was well-founded and described a resumption of aid from donors "critical" to the economic recovery of Mali. An IMF official said that after the Malian economy contracted by 1.5 percent last year, growth could hit 4 to 5 percent this year if conditions remain positive.